I just got a puppy! Now what?

Congratulations on your new puppy! Raising a dog is such an enjoyable experience filled with memorable moments and also a lot of responsibility.

It’s important to keep your puppy healthy by properly vaccinating them. 

What vaccinations does your puppy need?  At what age?  How about deworming?

We’ve assembled a simple guide to help educate you on the core vaccines puppies need and at what age they should be given.

At 6-8 weeks of age:

  • First DAPPV (distemper-parvo-parainfluenza vaccine)- This is the most important vaccine to protect puppies from deadly viruses.  The DAPPV vaccine needs to be given as a series, three times, ideally 2-4 weeks apart.
  • Deworming:  Pyrantel kills roundworms and hookworms which are common intestinal worms, especially in puppies.   Pyrantel is a very safe liquid that most puppies enjoy.  [note: it is fine to start deworming as early as 4 weeks of age]

At 9-11 weeks of age:

  • 2nd DAPPV (distemper-parvo-parainfluenza vaccine)-This is the most important vaccine to protect puppies from deadly viruses.  This would be the second round in the DAPPV series.
  • Deworming: Treating roundworms and hookworms is important because these are the most common worms in puppies. This is a safe yellow-ish liquid that most puppies enjoy.
  • Flea and Tick Prevention: At 8 weeks, puppies are old enough to start Nexgard, a monthly chewable that protects against fleas and ticks. At 6 months, dogs can switch to Bravecto, a chewable that lasts 3 months.

At 12-14 weeks of age:

  • 1 year rabies vaccine:-This vaccine is required by law for all puppies 3 months and older. You will receive a signed rabies certificate that legally states your dog was vaccinated. You will also get a unique rabies tag that your dog is encouraged to wear on their collar.
  • DAPPV (distemper-parvo-parainfluenza vaccine)-This is the the last in the series of three DAPPV vaccines.
  • Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine- This is important for dogs that go to groomers, boarding kennels or doggy day cares.
  • Heartworm Prevention: Dogs under 6 months of age can start monthly heartworm prevention tablets (such as Iverhart) without needing a blood test. Iverhart and other monthly heartworm prevention tablets also kill intestinal worms such as roundworms and hookworm.  Double coverage!

At 15-17 weeks of age:

  • Dog vaccination guidelines are changing.  Experts now recommend an additional DAPPV vaccination at 15 to 17 weeks of age, for the best protection against parvovirus and distemper.   This additional protection is especially important for breeds which are extremely susceptible to parvovirus (including Dobermans, Rottweilers and pit bulls).

A year after the puppy rabies vaccination: 

  • 3 year rabies vaccine– After the first rabies vaccine, your dog can receive the 3 year rabies vaccine. Again, you will receive a rabies certificate and tag.
  • DAPPV– This important yearly vaccine protects against the most common canine diseases. Consider adding Leptospirosis protection if your dog drinks from streams, puddles, farm ponds or contaminated water sources.
  • Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine- This yearly vaccine is important for dogs that go to groomers, boarding kennels or doggy daycare.

At our mobile clinics, Dr. Gillum and our clinic staff are happy to provide personalized recommendations based on your puppy’s age and lifestyle.

See you at our next clinic!

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